My Caring Dilemma

Ontheverge,

You are giving your Mum care, attention and love and have nothing to feel guilty about.

If your Mum is in pain, it’s worth notifying the GP or her consultant if she has one for her arthritis.

Does she wear hearing aids? If not, they could help. Also improved hearing would mean she could listen to audio books - the local library should be able to advise.

Does she enjoy listening to music and/or singing? She might enjoy having her nails done or soaking her feet in a foot spa or a bowl of bubble bath. Planting / telling you how to plant an amaryllis bulb and watching it grow tall and beautiful could give her an interest as could the scent of hyacinth bulbs in flower.

Anyway, Happy New Year too you. I hope your health starts to improve and you find some joyful moments in your days.

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Thank you Melly1 for your reply.

Mum’s struggling with her mobility now. If it’s not her left knee, it’s her right hip. She used to love watching cooking shows and listening to radio shows but she’s lost all interest in it. Most of the time, she slides into the couch but constantly watches the time. Is this normal?

The angry brother referred her to the physiotherapist when she fell in the bathroom again a week ago. They are referring her to adult therapy and then some adult physical therapy. We are just waiting to hear from them now. They told me to contact her arthritis clinic too. We’ve not heard from them since the start of the pandemic.

Still no word from the incontinence clinic. I phoned them but they said they will get in touch with us. Mum had another accident a week ago. I think she had had a few accidents over a few days and it even went through one of the mattress protectors. I’ve not her not to stress about it and it happens. I asked my brother to take me in his car but he said he had better things to do so I had to get a taxi!

Whilst changing her today, I noticed three large spots, they were very inflamed and looked painful. They weren’t red but looked like they had water/pus in them. I also saw two “sore” like things on the back of her left leg - one bright pink and one was scabbing over. Should I be worried? Does anyone have any experience of these? Could these be because she was sleeping in a wet bed?

Lo and behold, I have covid again so off from work again. I’m really struggling to care for Mum right now and none of the other siblings could care less. What to do. At this rate, I might have to check into an old people’s home!!! :slight_smile:

Hi Ontheverge -

I’m sorry to hear you have a Covid again, you have had it so many times. Caring is tough let alone when you are feeling really poorly.

Your siblings really are lazy but sadly are unlikely to change.

I honestly think its time your Mum had care visits, for your sake and hers; even if they just came in to help her with personal care and hygiene. She may be more willing to change her pad daily too for a ‘professional’ carer, if they say it’s necessary to do so.

Your Mum needs the sore patches checking asap by the doctor / a nurse - they may well arrange for a district nurse to come and visit your Mum to monitor and treat them or may give her a prescription for some cream/lotion etc Others on here have direct caring experience of this sort of a problem and will hopefully be along to advice.

Do you have the disposable bed protectors too, you can use them with the mattress protector for added protection.

Getting her pain better managed would improve her quality of life. I wonder if she is watching the clock until her next pain meds are due. Finding things that can occupy her would make time move more quickly for her and distract her from her pain too.

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Maybe find a care agency which wears an official looking uniform and tell a little white lie,? Refer to them as “nurses” rather than “carers”?
Have you had a Carers Assessment recently? Do they know you are ill?
I suspect you may be getting Covid because you are so run down, desperately in need of a good holiday?
Sadly, things will change only when you force change.
Whilst you can’t force mum to have care, you have a right to say you are going away and tell all concerned that you will not be available to care between certain dates.

Thanks @Melly1 elly1 and @bowlingbun for your replies.

Still not recovered from COVID. BB - you are right, it’s all the stress and pressure. Half the time I don’t even know how I manage. I’m on a few hours sleep a night but do have a long covid appointment coming up.

Mum had another fall the other night. My brother heard her fall. It was a right mess. I am weak due to long covid and brother had an operation not long ago so it took ages to pick her up and put her in bed again! Her arthritis is really playing up now - hips/knees. We’ve got an appointment soon and we have re-started her with the rheumatoid arthritis clinic. She was all bruised up but keeps saying I am fine and nothing hurts.

Mum had another accident. She didn’t tell us because she was embarrassed I presume but there was a smell of urine about her for a few days. I checked her bed and it was soaked all the way through right down to the mattress. I had to take everything to the launderette (even though I was still poorly) because none of the other siblings would.

Is there a way I can normalise her telling me when she has had an accident? I’ve told her it happens to everyone but it’s not sinking in. I have two idiot brothers who are quite nasty to her so I feel that is why she won’t talk to me about it.

I know you have mentioned mattress protectors, is there such a thing as a blanket protector? Mum has her mattress which is covered by a mattress protector, then she has a few bulky blankets on top of which she sleeps (she says she gets cold and needs something soft to sleep on). When she has an accident, all the bulky blankets get soaked. She refuses to wear pull ups at night and will take them off. She sleeps in a long nighty and a cardigan. Sorry but the pad thing seems a bit too much for me and I feel awkward with the son/Mum relationship. She wouldn’t be able to put it on/in, my sister is a waste of space and she won’t have carers in (I’m working on it though).

I phoned the incontinence line and they said we are on the waiting list. God knows how long they are going to make us wait.

I’m going to get a new toilet/bidet and walk in shower installed on the ground floor. During the day, she uses a commode which is in the bathroom. I’m going to get the front room and kitchen all deep carpeted so if she does have a fall (hopefully she won’t), she won’t get injured too much.

I’m not sure what to do work wise. They are putting lots of pressure on me to return. My manager phoned me up and sounded annoyed when I told her I had a sick note. I’m still coughing all over the place and wear two masks at home. Going into the office once a week/fortnight is my escape and my me time so if I quit, that would be gone. I’ve had three sick periods in all my working life, all covid related, so that three sick leave in 18 years so it’s not like I am tossing it off. What do I do?

Ontheverge, life sounds unbearably tough.

Firstly if your Mum falls and can’t get up then the advice is to make her comfortable and call an ambulance. The crew can check her over, get her up safely and refer her to other services.

As your Mum isn’t telling you if the bed is wet, I suggest you check it every morning. She probably doesn’t want to make work for you but she will end up with sores if she is getting into a wet bed.

A duvet in a water proof cover would be better under her than blankets and easier to wash. She’d find it nice and soft as well as warm. When did she last have a new mattress? It could be that the blankets are hiding mattress issues such as lumpy springs or dips and hollows.

There are grants for wet rooms (downstairs bathrooms) but you need the involvement of an OT.

I get your reasoning re new thick carpets, but they will make it hard to clear up any accidents. Has your mum be referred to the falls clinic?

I don’t think you should give up your job, but do not be bullied into going back until your sick note runs out.

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Hi @ontheverge A couple of points, if I may.

My husband suffers from bad incontinence overnight. He wears pads and pants and I have waterproof sheet on the mattress topped with absorbent bed pads, a standard sheet and then a high capacity absorbent pad. Invariably he suffers a ‘flood’ - often between 5am and 8am. We have a bin for all the wet pads and I have to check the bed each morning as he isn’t aware when there is leakage and the sheet is damp (or sometimes soaked). I find it very hard to comprehend how he is unable to feel the damp when he checks the bed when he gets up. Could it possibly be that Mum has lack of sensation so she doesn’t feel the damp?

If an ambulance is called and they get her back into a safe situation, they will still make a report which should get back to your GP and then prompt intervention.

We have a waterproof cover on our duvet after I started having to wash the duvet every few days. Its a great boon!

I would advise against having carpets which are very thick, not only because of the problem of cleaning after an accident, but more important that it can result in more falls if she shuffles her feet as so many people with mobility problems do. Also to make much difference the carpet would have to be VERY thick. Please weigh up the pros and cons before incurring the expense of new carpet.

You can certainly get grants for a new wet room to provide for Mum. Even if you cannot, then a builder can zero rate the work if it is necessary for her. There are guides available on the HMRC website regarding this.

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@Melly1 - anywhere in particular you got the soft waterproof duvet covers from?

Good thinking about the thick carpets. I didn’t think about that. Mum shuffles her feet so she may fall and I don’t want that to happen. The carpets need replacing though.

By OT do you mean the one from Housing? We had someone come over a few years back about a stairlift but we didn’t accept it. If they don’t help or can’t do it soon, I’m happy to pay for it. I just hate seeing Mum suffer.

You are right about work. I will just get another sick note. I am not well.

@Chris_22081 - any chance you can share where you get these bed pads from? We have some mini ones, about 15cm long in a square shape but they are not very absorbent.

I don’t think Mum has sensation. She had some sores and huge spots but she couldn’t feel them at all.

Haha, getting Mum to accept any kind of outside help is hard work. When she fell in the bathroom, she burst into tears when we tried to call an ambulance and had to stop.

I wish she would just accept she cannot do things that she was able to do and asking for help from family or professionals is not a bad thing! My auntie (Mum’s sister) was just the same so I can see where she is coming from.

Thanks both for your replies. It means a lot and I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Hi again @ontheverge

The waterproof duvet covers are available from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=waterproof+duvet+protector&crid=WILKZV6C4II&sprefix=waterproof+duvet%2Caps%2C127&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_2_16

It doesn’t seem to like loading the preview but if you click on the blue “Amazon” line the link works - I just searched Waterproof Duvet Cover.

I put waterproof mattress covers on a bed when Dad stayed with us some years ago. I found them so useful I now have them on all the beds. These days they don’t have to be “rubber sheets” or crinkly things that make a noise every time you turn over. Some of mine are made of bamboo fibres and they are washable and just like ordinary sheets, but just go under the bed sheet.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=waterproof+mattress+protector&crid=1KWBU3ASS67S5&sprefix=waterproof+mattress%2Caps%2C83&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_19

As far as bed pads go, we use AgeUK Continence site as they seem to have the best one for us (they do small medium and large pads and also provide them in different capacity - some pads are the full bed length which can be very useful:

They also sell waterproof duvet covers.

Their site also has a section with advice on continence problems which may be helpful. They also have a section which sorts by gender which is really helpful as men and women are not made the same after all!!

There are other suppliers which I know others find helpful such as www.Incontinenceshop.com / www.incontinencechoice.co.uk / www.incontinenceuk.co.uk / www.incontinencesupermarket.co.uk

Glad I mentioned the carpet as there would be nothing worse than spending a lot of money and then finding out it’s made the situation worse. My Dad used to scuff his feet along and I was worried as he ended up polishing the soles of his shoes or slippers on the carpet which resulted in even less grip.

A bit of advice - ask GP for referral to OT as they can supply a LOT of items FREE on permanent loan. We have a bed grab handle which Graham says is the best thing he has ever seen as well as a couple of walking sticks, not to mention the wheeled walker with seat without which he would not be able to get out most medical appointments. I was given a small wheelchair for him, otherwise they said they would provide one. They also supplied an inflatable cushion which we used in the old car to help raise him slightly. It can be used on any seat. Thankfully when I changed the car the main criteria was the seat should be high enough that he can get in and out without assistance and, so far, he has managed. OT may be able to make suggestions about floor coverings too - even though they wouldn’t be able to fund that.

One thing I have done is set up the Smart Speakers we have around the house so with one instruction it will call my mobile. So if Graham has a fall or is unable to get out of a chair while I am out on a dog walk etc, all he needs do is call “Alexa call Chris” and within a few seconds my phone rings and we can talk to each other - and it costs nothing! I am sure other Smart Speakers can be set to do similar. It means he doesn’t have to have his mobile with him or be able to reach the landline handset so even if he is lying on the floor he can communicate. I ca then head for home and assess if I need to alert a neighbour or call an ambulance while I am en route (ambulance has taken 23 minutes to reach us with blues and two’s before now).

A few other points (hope I am not preaching to the choir:

Are you registered with YOUR’S AND MUM’S GP as her Carer? If not, please advise them both in writing as they will note it on both Records and that should trigger more help and consideration for each of you. If YOU are ill they will understand what pressure you are under and double check if that is making you worse. They can offer other help depending on your needs.

Are you registered with your local Carer’s Support Centre? They can provide a Career’s Emergency Card to keep in your wallet so if anything happens to you it gives an emergency number and reference so someone will check on Mum and alert others too.

Does your employer know you are a Carer? It might be worth ensuring they do, as if you have to take time off at short notice they will be aware there is a genuine reason. It could also prevent them starting disciplinary action in an extreme situation.

Glad the comments you’ve had have been helpful. If you check out the “Roll Call” thread on here you’ll find a number of us exchange comments most days and support one another and sound off when we need to - and no-one judges!!. Useful if you get frustrated and want to vent or ask for general advice. Lots of experience and knowledge on there and you can share or ask. Say as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. Some describe it as ‘a chat over the garden fence’.

:people_hugging:

C

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Hi, sorry to hear of your situation. It must be so difficult. Sounds like your Mum needs carers in to change her pads. They’ll wash her as well and keep watch for any skin irritation she might get from the urine.

She mightn’t be happy with carers coming, only you can know that. But she does need them. I look after my Mum and she had to get carers. It was a social worker who arranged it one of the times she ended up in hospital. They wouldn’t let her home without a care package. Mum didn’t want them, and blamed me. She said she shouldn’t need carers because she has me!

But getting help is the right thing to do, for both of you. You can’t keep going til you burn out, you deserve a life too. And your Mum will start to get used to the carers and hopefully start to enjoy their company

Take care

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Thanks @Chris_22081 - all items ordered. I got a waterproof duvet, waterproof mattress protector x 2 and a soft mattress protector.

I was going to look at the incontinence website and order some pull ups but never got round to it. I’m so forgetful these days. I just buy 2 packs from Tesco with my online orders.

Thanks for all the links by the way. I appreciate it.

When you say OT from the GP, is that in the physio team or something else? Mum has a walking stick but she only uses it if we go to appointments. She needs a zimmer frame but won’t entertain the thought. The inflatable cushion sounds good for the couch as she struggles to get up. I have to grab her and lift her up at the moment.

I’m not registered as a carer anywhere. Work know I live with my Mum and she is not well but there is no compassion from them. I’m currently off sick and get harassed weekly to come back. The stress levels go up every week. The long covid clinic have said take a few months off and they can sign me off. I don’t know what to do! There are redeployment/redundancies coming up and I am happy to take some money and run. I’ve worked at the same place for about 20 years and I will get close to £9K if they made me redundant. I will take that!


@shelly1 - it’s a no to carers for now. She simply won’t accept it. I have 5 older siblings and have asked one of them to speak to Mum but no one is interested. She is very stubborn and seems to think she can still do everything on her own. Bless her.

I checked today and the sores have gone. I’m giving her a foot and arm rub every day and making her feel a bit pampered. She deserves it.

I read your other post about your Mum and I’m sorry to hear about your situation. My Mum doesn’t make me feel guilty at all. At times, I do want to just pack my bags and run but I know fully well, the other siblings will just let her rot so I don’t see that as an option for now.


I phoned up and a letter is on the way from the incontinence clinic so that’s a start. Mum needs to keep a diary for 5 days and they will take it from there.

She has been triaged by the physio team and we are just waiting for them to make contact.

We’ve got someone coming to measure up for the walk in shower and the toilet/bidet next week. Mum said she doesn’t want to wait for a loan or whatever so we will go with that. I just want to make life as easy as I can for her.

By the way, I had an appointment with the sleep clinic via the long covid clinic, I’m going to get some CBD sessions and if that doesn’t work he has said he will give me melatonin (it’s for over 55’s only and I am not that age but I burst into tears and he said he would but only if the CBD didn’t work!). Oh and I’ve lost a stone with the repeat covid infections - woohoo, it’s taken ages for me to drop under 12st!

Thanks again everyone. I don’t know what I would do without help and advice from @bowlingbun @Melly1 and all the others. Bless you all. Time to amend my Ocado order which is coming on Monday - I’m still wide awake at 2.40am!

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Hi. I - along with many others on here - know what it’s like to be a “Night Owl” unable to sleep.

I am pleased the links helped. That’s the great thing about this Forum, we can share experiences and knowledge to help others as well as offloading our angst to those who really understand.

Occupational Therapists (OTs) will often work alongside the Physio Team, so if you are in touch with Physio then you could ask them if an OT visit could be arranged. I am a little surprised they haven’t suggested it before, unless they did in a myriad of other things and it got overlooked.

The wheeled walker I mention is a boon. Graham can use it to support himself as he walks anywhere and as it has a seat, when he gets tired, he simply sits down for a rest. It also has a small storage ‘bin’ under the seat so it saves trying to carry too much and a lady’s handbag could easily be popped in there - or as I do, the paperwork for hospital appointments! It folds down to fit in a car/taxi or even on a bus (not that we have the delight of a regular useable bus service out here “in the sticks”.

When Mum/you keeps the continence diary, be honestly blunt about it - if she has an ‘incident’ but refuses to be changed - YOU note it down so there is a FULL record. By an large they will not supply pull-up pants, just pads, but we were supplied some washable mesh over pants which help hold them in place inside his underwear and they have proved a great help.

If you are using a lot of disposable pads, your Council will supply an extra bin for you to use if you find your current bin is not large enough to take them all. I requested one an we got a large one which surprised me, but it’s proved VERY useful. I put a wheelie bin liner in it, just in case of any leaks and in the summer I splash a little bit of Dettol before putting in the liner just to keep it all smelling fresh.

I would encourage you to ensure your GP and Mum’s are aware of your Caring Role. That should trigger some more help for you. Our Practice has recently employed a Care Co-Ordinator part-time and she phoned me twice to have hour long discussions on MY situation and to see if they could help G in any other way. I found it comforting that they were prepared to listen. It is in their interests too as they don’t really want me ‘to go bang’! Indeed my GP said a while back ‘my main focus is to keep you well so you can Care for Graham!’ My response of ‘Gee thanks - so you’re not really worried about ME at all’ brought a smile to his face and ‘well, I am not going to look after him every day - but I’ll have the dog!’

Does Mum claim and Benefits? Even if she does, it might be worth checking the CarersUk site for additional guidance to ensure she is getting everything she is entitled to

Also, if you haven’t already seen it:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/guides-and-tools/looking-after-someone-guide/

I know that a Redundancy payment can seem attractive, but do think very carefully before grabbing it. It can seem tempting but a f/t job can still give you security. If Mum IS claiming Benefits, are you getting Carer’s Allowance? If you give up work and she is claiming then you should be entitled to the pittance as well - every little helps as someone says!

Good luck with it all!

We are a tall family, average height 6ft tall. My eldest son put a sheet of plywood under our recliner and then large Shepherd castors, raising the chair a couple of inches. We liked it so much he’s done the same to the settee and other chair. So much easier to get in and out of which was quick and easy. Mum needs a stern talking to. She needs to understand that you are ill and not getting better because she is not letting you rest and recuperate. This is a lecture best delivered by a GP or other health professional. It’s not just mum getting older, but you too. You should not be picking her up when she falls. Your work should be your top priority, not mum. She can have carers during the day, if she chooses not to, then she should not assume that you can care for her instead. You have to look after your own long term well being, otherwise how will you manage financially in future? Having run a business I have sympathy with your employer, they need you to be working, you need to be fit to work, and the reason you are not getting better is because you are doing too much for mum! Did mum go out to work, or care for her own mum? Does she think the first duty of a child is to look after family, that they should not work?

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Hi @Chris_22081 - we used to go to the physio once a month but that was about 4 years ago. They gave Mum a walking stick, and some special gloves. I think they were to keep her fingers warm and slow down the arthritis or something. They used to put her hands in a tank of candle wax and she used to love it. Bless her :slight_smile:

An OT come over from the Council’s Housing team. They offered her a stair lift but said no to a bungalow because she owns this house. I think it’s them we would need to contact for help with grab rails etc. I actually work in social services in Housing and I know the waiting times are about 12 months.

I will be honest in the diary. I don’t call them accidents, I call them doofers so it doesn’t embarrass her. I think she’s had a doofer today or her pull ups have leaked because I can smell it. If they don’t give us anything, that’s fine. I just need a bit of support what with the sores she had recently. I’m unsure if they are doofer related or something else completely.

I will have a word with the GP if I get an appointment. Last time I phoned, the earliest appointment was in mid March! Mum gets pension benefits and disabled mobility benefits. I don’t get involved in her finances but will ask and check on the website.

I will NEVER claim carers allowance. I don’t want it to be official because I know what my family are like. They already make me do it all but if it was written on paper, there would be no escape. I will be a good son and do as much as I can but it won’t be for forever.


Hi @bowlingbun - it’s not the stress of looking after Mum. I ended up with long covid a few years ago. I was not well but was “made” to go back to work. At this point, I was not under the long covid clinic so was unsure I could have had more time off. The long covid clinic told me I should not have returned and taken longer to get better. I’ve still not fully recovered and my manager “makes” me go into the office once a week which is too much for me. My manager said “my friend got covid and recovered in two weeks so it must be all in your head”. There is no empathy or sympathy. I’ve worked in the same organisation and the only three sicks I have had in almost 20 years have all been covid related. Surely, they need to have a bit of compassion.

Mum never worked, she was a housewife and disabled. I have 5 older siblings who don’t give a sh!t so unsure where you get that she thinks the first duty of a child to look after her family from. If that was the case, I would be free as the wind as there would be 5 before me to do all the running around haha.

Ontheverge - It’s possible to buy a paraffin wax bath for putting sore hands in, I know a few people on my arthritis forum who have them. Might be something your Mum could buy for herself. Argos does one for £50, other companies sell them too. I can’t recommend a make as I don’t have one.

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Thanks @Melly1 - will look into this.

The incontinence questionnaire came yesterday and I’ve been filling it in and have asked for an appointment. Does anyone know how long it can take? What exactly can they offer us? Is it just pads?

We’ve sort of decided on the bathroom now. Mum says it’s pointless getting a wet room or a shower because she can’t stand. I know about the seats but I don’t feel comfortable showering her, my sisters are useless and she won’t say yes to a carer.

Shall we just get a toilet/bidet like she wants or get the whole thing which possibly won’t get used?

There are six siblings including me. I’ve re-begged them to help out or take some chores. Other than the argumentative brother at home who helps a bit, the others just don’t care.

On a plus note, I’ve been invited down to London by a friend (I did a bit of work for her last year). Two people from the team are leaving to have babies and they want me to go down for 2 days and have a bit of a party. Travel/food/hotel is all paid for so I would just need to turn up. I was so excited. I told Mum and her face just dropped. I want to go but she is frail now. I wish the others would take some responsibility but they won’t. Sigh. What to do?

I think you should go. You deserve a break.

Your Mum has the choice of agreeing to carers or asking another of your siblings to help her.

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Hi.

Personal experience says ‘prepare now so you are ready’. I highly recommend getting a wet room. Mum may refuse help now but very soon she may be in a situation where she cannot refuse any longer. If you’ve spent money and then have to pay out more to alter what you have you will regret it. There WLL come a time when she has to accept help but there are ways of doing things which still maintain her dignity.

A wet room doesn’t have to be just a shower, if you think a bidet may be more acceptable to her at the moment, see if one could be fitted as well. There are all sorts of different seats available for showers. We took out the main bathroom and installed a large walk in shower with a very shallow tray - not quite a wet room but part way there. This was when Dad moved in with us (even though it didn’t work out). I then had a fold down seat put into it - chrome frame with a nice wooden slatted seat which means ANYONE could use the shower and it doesn’t look like a “disabled person’s shower”. In act - I have used it sometimes. It’s very convenient when I want to give my feet a good check in shower as I can sit and not balance on one foot!

After Graham had his stroke I had the same type fitted in the en-suite (yes i know we’re posh!) which has been an absolute godsend for him. He struggles with mobility, but is able to struggle into the shower and then can sit and wash himself in safety with minimal risk of falling - thus keeping more independence for him. He can also sit there ‘drip-drying’ for a few minutes before reaching for a towel and mostly dry off before stepping out - meaning less water on the floor and lower risk of slips.

Regrettably incontinence service only usually supply pads. That’s why I by pants and bed pads privately (I use Age UK Continence website). They will ‘calculate’ how many pads and of what ‘capacity’ Mum needs - the sent us a couple of trial ones to check they were sufficient - and then send about three months supply. That CAN be quite a problem for storage! When Mum was getting pads provided, she was using so many each day that Dad dreaded the delivery of three or four enormous boxes which he then unpacked and then stored in every nook and cranny in their (thankfully) reasonably large bungalow. You do have to phone or go online to reorder though - it is not automatic now. I was told it would take about three weeks to get the initial delivery, but I complained and had them within a week.

With regard to the London trip - GO !! You need a break - take it from someone who knows - and just a couple of days will do you a lot of good. You will have to be hard about it and simply tell the family that you need a break and you are taking it and if none of them is prepared to step up just for that short time, them Mum will be on her own - THAT is not your problem, it is THEIRS.

It may seem harsh, but I know I am very much in need of a break and I m trying to plan one, once I can get someone to stay with Graham so he is safe for a week. I am SO looking forward to going off with Buster and ‘forgetting’ my 24/7 role. It’s a hard thing to do, but you need to explain to Mum as well as siblings that if you don’t get a break you will be ill and then you will be unable to care for her and the others will have to - or Carers WILL have to come in. Yes it sounds like a threat, but you need to protect your health.

.

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Thanks both. I’m really looking forward to London and have ordered some new clothes. I’ve been living in the same things for years now!

We’ve got an appointment with the physio on Monday. Mum’s been shuffling since her last fall so hopefully she tells them where it is hurting. I’ve been giving her foot and hand rubs every day to pamper her. She really enjoys it.

Out of interest, if any of you have cared for anyone with mobility issues/pain in hips and knees, would you use a tens machine or not? Mum’s got bad varicose veins on her legs so unsure we should.

All the sores have gone from her legs so I am happy about that. There were some really nasty looking big see through blobs but they have completely gone.

Chris - you seem to be in the same sort of role as me. How do you cope? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel? If my siblings jumped in and helped out, it would be so much more manageable but they just don’t care. I’m already stressing about London. I know for a FACT, only the poorly shouty sibling will do anything, the other two are just completely useless.

Have a good weekend everyone. I’m going to watch a horror movie now. Talk To Me it’s called.

YEH!! Well done, I’m so pleased for you. :+1::clap:
You used to go away regularly - I hope this kickstarts your mini escapes again.

I am also guilty of this, and have only really replaced work clothes when they get faded. I really do need some more home clothes too.

I have OA but have never tried a TENS machine. Worth asking the physio.

Well done for all the care you gave to clear up all sores on your Mum’s legs.

Heat helps me - a large wheatie bag heated in the microwave and I use ice packs if the swelling is too horrendous. Anti inflammatory NSAIDS help a lot for flares but they don’t suit everyone. RA is different to OA but once the joint is totally wrecked by either then a joint replacement can be done and that removes the bone on bone pain. There’s lots of info on the Versus Arthritis website and they have a friendly and informative forum too.